Dragon Ball Continues To Ignore Its Best Android Stories

The Red Ribbon Army has created complex artificial intelligence, but Dragon Ball hasn’t explored all its fascinating implications. While the Dragon Ball franchise is mostly known for its exciting battles and eye-catching transformations, it also boasts an impressive level of world-building. From anthropomorphic animals and aliens to robots and multiversal goods, many of Dragon Ball‘s different species are so memorable they could be the stars of their own franchises.


The Red Ribbon Army has followed Goku since he was a child. Although they are no match for Goku and company, they struck gold with the creation of the androids, who have proven to be some of Dragon Ball Z‘s most powerful villains. Artificial characters such as Android 17, Android 18, and Cell have provided Goku and the Z-Warriors with huge challenges throughout the years, but they have much more to contribute to Dragon Ball beyond their sheer power.

Related: What Are Dragon Ball Super Hero’s Gammas? Android Confusion Explained

All Dragon Ball androids share a certain degree of humanity. For instance, Android 8 befriended Goku and helped him defeat the Red Ribbon Army, which only confirmed to his creators that acts of kindness render androids a failure. Years later, Androids 16, 17, and 18 were designed to be cold-hearted assassins, but they also developed human emotions and eventually switched sides. These character arcs show that the Dragon Ball franchise could delve into complex themes like consciousness, artificial intelligence, and what it really means to be human — all from the androids’ perspective. Perhaps a new one Dragon Ball movie or series could follow in the footsteps of famous stories like Blade Runner, Ex Machina, and Mary Shelley’s Gothic classic Frankenstein in the form of a Red Ribbon spinoff that digs into similar themes.

What A Red Ribbon Dragon Ball Spinoff Can Reveal About Androids

Dragon Ball Z duck Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero revealed that Dr. Gero built various synthetic robots until he realized the potential of cyborgs. He turned the human twins Lapis and Lazuli into the deadly Android 17 and Android 18, as well as his own son Gevo, who became Android 16; his wife Vomi, who became Android 21; and himself, who became Android 20. All the androids’ backstories provide fascinating opportunities for new Dragon Ball stories, which could explore their lives before, during, and immediately after their transformation, as well as the psychological effects of the process.

A Red Ribbon spinoff could also delve into Dr. Gero’s Frankenstein-like obsession, which led to his own undoing at the hands of Android 17 and was later mirrored by Cell’s quest for perfection. Whether the perfect, soulless, living weapon is possible is an enthralling question that can still be explored by Dragon Ball in the future, and it already has the ideal background: the Red Ribbon’s shady operations over the years that Goku and the Z-Warriors were busy dealing with other threats.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero gave the franchise a breath of fresh air with a new android story, but its focus on the action aspect of Gamma 1, Gamma 2, and the rather disappointing Cell Max makes it very limited plot-wise. While another android-centered Dragon Ball movie is unlikely to arrive immediately after Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroa dive into the Red Ribbon’s creation of artificial life and its consequences is an intriguing possibility that’s still on the table.

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